School holidays already? I can only assume that we must have been so much better at school than the young ones are these days, as our teachers didn't seem to need anywhere near as many holidays as these modern-day chalkies do.
I know I am beginning to sound like a broken record (for those who remember such things) but it really does seem we only get over one and here we go again.
So what's new or hot for the kids to have some kitchen fun with this time? There has been quite a lot on the multitude of television food programmes in recent times regarding salted caramel. Adding salt certainly induces more flavour and let's face it, our main flavour profiles are hot, sour, sweet and salt - so why not add salt to caramel?
While I don't mind caramel, I am far more inclined to head for chocolate when opportunity knocks, so you can see where my thoughts are heading. If salt adds flavour to caramel what would it do for chocolate?
We already have some idea, more so if you are familiar with Mexican food, as they make a delicious chicken and chilli dish which has chocolate in the sauce. And my good friend and colleague Scott from Australia gained great respect for his chocolate and strawberry soup with salted peppercorn ice cream when he had his restaurant in London.
Remember that good high percentage chocolate (70 per cent or better) is quite bitter, so to get the very best from it we will need to add some sweet as well as salt. So, this week, let's have some fun with chocolate - oops no - let's get the kids having some fun with chocolate and make a real treat we can all enjoy in moderation with coffee, after a meal, or any time you feel you have done enough to deserve a little sweetmeat.
SALTED CHOCOLATE SLICE
2 x 220 gm packets Cadbury 70 per cent dark chocolate
3 dssp golden syrup
200g salted roasted peanuts
3 Cadbury Crunchie bars
Place the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a microwave proof bowl and microwave on 50 per cent for one minute at a time until they have all melted and are easy to mix.
Place the salted peanuts in a bowl, crush the Crunchie bars on top then mix together.
Add the peanut and Crunchie bar mixture into the well-mixed chocolate concoction.
Mix until well combined and pour into a baking paper lined tray to set.
Place in a cool area to set for an hour or two and enjoy.
Graham Hawkes operates Paddington Arms at the Queens Dr/Bainfield Rd roundabout.
- The Southland Times